The Next Generation of Plus-Size Fashion Brands Aren’t on the Runways — They’re on TikTok

Ask any millennial (or member of any prior generation): The last decade in plus-size fashion easily outpaced the previous 20 to 30 years. For a while there, we were moving in a positive direction — but then, something happened.

Maybe it’s the return of the early 2000s aesthetic (thank you, Miu Miu), or perhaps it’s the re-emergence of the Tumblr girl. For whatever reason, conversation — and action — around body inclusivity has fizzled out.

Nowhere is that more apparent than the runway: According to Fashion Spot’s annual runway diversity report, in spring 2020, 86 curve models walked across all four fashion capitals, but as shows got smaller and brands opted out of fashion week during the pandemic, those numbers plummeted. There are some signs of change on this front, but these stats are a reminder that fashion will always thrive on some level of exclusivity. We hate to admit it out loud, but you have to be rich/white/thin enough to really succeed on some level. The hope (or naïveté) was that as the industry saw the success of brands like Selkie and Good American, they would decide that the potential profits — reports predict that the plus-size fashion industry will be worth $696.7B by 2027 — outweighed the fatphobia . What happened, instead, was that fashion came to a certain point and just… gave up.

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